The R3 design was the first astromech produced specifically for one group, the Empire. It was the first astromech to be released after the R2 series. In the gap between the launches of the R2 and R3, droid manufacturers continued updating and developing new technologies. They added these into their popular R2 series, but the Empire wanted a droid all to its own. The R3 was the answer, as it was programmed with several naval tactics, adding to the crews' ability to command. It also was a capable repair droid servicing the massive Star Destroyers that the Empire so relied upon. Unlike the R2, this little droid comes armed with a scout blaster, allowing it to help defend against enemy boarding operations and even useful in the disciplining of officers.